Post-War & Contemporary Art



Covering the fragmented, illustrious, bountiful, expansive world of Post-War and Contemporary Art, exploring all the movements, counter-movements and beyond, in a vast array of artwork from 1945 right up to today.

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Upcoming auctions

Portraits and Genre Paintings from 1900 to today

This auction offers a variety of artistic positions questioning the human nature! This is not only expressed in intimate portraits but also, of course, in realistic genre paintings.


Image: Otto Beyer, November Revolution, Oil Painting, 1919

Discover Nature: Art from five Centuries

The auction focusses on works representing nature: Landscapes, animals and flowers belong to the popular genres of history of art which fascinate artists until today...


Image: Paul Signac, Les Andelys, Colored lithography, 1895

Portraits- People as Seen by Artists

The human being has always been the main subject of visual arts, as it is the measure of all things and the core of modern science, of anthropology...


Image: Peter Doig, Fisherman, Pigment Print, 2014

Pop Art: Warhol, Hirst, Katz & Sultan

Collectors and lovers of contemporary Pop Art will enjoy this auction with works of internationally renowned artists. One of the highlights is the work ‘Dark Black Heaven...


Image: Andy Warhol, A la Recherche du Shoe Perdu, Lithograph, c. 1955

From Chagall to Hockney: Prints and Editions

Within the wide range of artistic expression, the medium print is particularly important. One remarkable work is the limited portfolio ‘Les Illuminations’ by Sonia Delaunay-Terk...


Image: Otto Piene, Untitled, Serigraph in Colors, 1971

The Spectrum of Artistic Expression: Art of the 20th & 21st Century

Exciting about this auction is the diversity of the objects from the post-war period and the present. A sculpture of the designer Sven Boltenstern...


Image: Pablo Picasso, Tie with Flowers, Wax Crayon Drawing, c. 1960

Consign with the leading online auction house for art and luxury collectibles

We are always looking for new and exciting artistic positions and works of art. Are you in possession of an item of sentimental value, and you would like to know its market value?

About the Post-War & Contemporary Art Department

The Department of Post-War & Contemporary Art deals in art from 1945 to the present day. Multiples, graphics, photography, sculpture, installations and paintings are the main focus of the regular auctions, which can accommodate young collectors as well as adding to the collections of traditional buyers. Julia Mauersberger and her team personally look after the acquisition of everything from individual objects to large collections, appraising art alongside market conditions, and visiting works in person upon request.

How to define the contemporary

The history of 20th/21st century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. New movements rise and fall almost quicker than they can be followed, and artists gain notoriety and fame in equal measure. Many terms used to describe contemporary artists and movements overlap, fall into disuse, are too imprecise or even too specific.

The rise of the US

The story of post-war and contemporary art is one in which America plays a hugely prominent role. Having emerged from World War II relatively unscathed, and with a booming economy, it was a haven for artists from the European avant-garde, whose ideas in turn inspired American artists. By the early 1940s the main movements in modern art - expressionism, cubism, abstraction, surrealism, and Dada - were already represented in New York. Also in New York, MoMA emerged as the most influential museum of modern art in the world, playing a hugely important and prominent role in developing and collecting modernist art.

The first American movement to achieve international influence was Abstract Expressionism. Developing in New York in the 1940s, the name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract art schools. Abstract paintings by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko are some of the most instantly-identifiable works in post-war art.

The installation as Gesamtkunstwerk

Another notable feature of post-war and contemporary art is the rise of installation art. Installations are three-dimensional works, distinct from sculpture, which are designed to transform the perception of a space. They generally incorporate a broad range of everyday and natural materials, as well as new media such as video, sound, and performance.

Postmodernism describes movements which arise and follow on from modernism. Postmodernist art is noted for the way in which it blurs the distinctions between what is perceived as fine or high art and what is generally seen as low or kitsch art. Pop Art is one of the most famous postmodern movements, personified by artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Their mass-produced prints are eagerly sought after as wall art by many collectors.

The challenge of abundancy

One of the main features of collecting modern and contemporary art is that there is not such a limited amount of it as art from other periods. In fact, that can be one of its challenges; the breadth and scope just of contemporary paintings and contemporary drawings is enough to bewilder even the most hardened of enthusiasts. Yet there is a huge amount of worth to be drawn from such an expansive body of works, and visitors to a contemporary art auction can be faced with everything from metal sculpture, through postmodern paintings, to installations, all at the cutting edge of the avant-garde.